Scientists have been trying to figure out how our braintank works, and the more they find out, the more they realize we might be accepting fake stuff as real.
So, over the decades — really, as long as we’ve been able to capture images — we have been trying to figure out what is real and what is not. War photographers have on a number of occasions, just by choosing what to photograph, how to frame it, and even going so far as to move elements of the subject matter to heighten a particular point of view.
Some would say it’s fabrication.
With Photoshop readily available, it’s become even more difficult for us to figure out what’s real.
Take this photo for example:
This was a photo that went viral as Hurricane Sandy bore down on New York City. Many to this day believe that it was real, but the hurricane was completely Photoshopped in.
And let’s not forget the Back To The Future hoax:
That, of course, was posted on June 27th, 2012. And it took the web by storm. But it was completely manufactured. But many responded to the image with “oh, yeah! I totally forgot about that!” Except it wasn’t a memory.
And here’s a scary thought from the BBC:
Old memories seem to be the easiest to manipulate. In one study, subjects were showed images from their childhood. Along with real images, researchers snuck in doctored photographs of the subject taking a hot-air balloon ride with his or her family. After seeing those images, 50% of subjects recalled some part of that hot air balloon ride – though the event was entirely made up.
It just goes to show how rewriteable our memories are. This also goes into politics. Many believe that Barack Obama once shook hands with the Iranian president. Even though there was no photographic proof — and the event in place didn’t happen — simply showing two completely unrelated images of both presidents while making the accusation has shown to alter people’s perceptions and beliefs.
I’m gonna go completely rewrite everything about myself. It’s time for some Total Recall stuff to go down. Just gonna show me a bunch of my old photographs and toss in some fake images of me hanging out and being cool with George Clooney. Maybe one day I’ll actually believe I’m legitimately cool.